The new Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Steve Reed, has said the government will “offer a new deal for farmers to boost rural economic growth and strengthen Britain’s food security”.

Following his meeting with the president of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), Tom Bradshaw, on Monday (July 8), Reed said he was “delighted” to discuss the government’s plans to “give farmers their future back”.

“Confidence amongst farmers is at record low. It is time for change,” the new Defra secretary said.

“The government will offer a new deal for farmers to boost rural economic growth and strengthen Britain’s food security.

“We will cut energy bills by switching on GB Energy, protect farmers from being undercut in trade deals and use the Government’s own purchasing power to back British produce.

“We are committed to supporting farmers and rural communities, and I look forward to working closely with Tom and the NFU throughout this Parliament.”


Bradshaw said topics on the agenda for his meeting with Reed included the critical role of food security in delivering national security, the investment required for the future of farming and restrictions around planning policy.

Bradshaw said: “It was great to meet with the Secretary of State today and put the importance of investing in the future of British agriculture directly to him.

“With this big change in government, it’s crucial that the voices of our 46,000 farmer and grower members are heard loud and clear within the new Defra team.

“Steve Reed has just outlined his plan for change and it’s good to hear that food security, the environment and flood management are all focus areas.”

Bradshaw said these now need to be underpinned by a budget that will enable the necessary investment.

“Alongside these key areas, we’ll continue to work closely with Defra to provide policy solutions on issues such as bovine TB, the transition to ELMs, core standards for agri-food imports, the agricultural workforce, supply chain fairness, investment in infrastructure and flexibility in planning.”